Jihad Turk is the founding president of Bayan Claremont, an Islamic graduate school in Southern California, and a well-respected leader and public speaker with a national profile. Prior to founding Bayan, Jihad served for many years as the Religious Director of the Islamic Center of Southern California, the oldest and largest mosque in the Los Angeles area.
Having been born to a Palestinian Muslim father and an American Christian mother, Jihad spent his college years traveling the Muslim world and exploring his roots in the Islamic tradition. He spent time in both the Islamic University of Medina where he studied Arabic and Islamic Studies and in Iran where he studied Farsi at the University of Tehran and in Qum. He completed his undergraduate study at the University of California, Berkeley, where he received his bachelor’s degree in History and Arabic. Jihad went on to complete his Master’s degree at the University of Texas, Austin, in Arabic and Islamic law and jurisprudence.
His field of research focuses on Islamic Law with an emphasis on usul al-fiqh, or jurisprudence, as well as theology. His current interests also include identity formation in the American Muslim community, interfaith relations, Islamic reform movements, and community leadership and development with a focus on youth.